What are they?
Orthotics are a brace or device used to support an area of the body. In the case of Podiatry we use foot orthoses. Orthoses is the term used to describe a pair of orthoses, after all, we have 2 feet.
What are they used for?
Orthotics are used to help re-align the feet and ankles which can allow for better foot function and help improve a persons gait. This is done by reducing the pressure and stress placed upon the structures or areas of the foot and helps even out the load on the foot. This enables the foot and ankle to work in a much more efficient manner.
Do I need them?
Orthotics are not for everyone. However they do have their part to play in foot function and allow for a more efficient gait cycle. If you are concerned or think you may need orthotics, the best place to start is with a consultation where the Podiatrist can take a comprehensive history and make the appropriate assessments in order to judge whether orthotics are the best option for you.
Are orthotics all the same?
No! The best way to explain it is a bit like cars. There is the latest car being sold at the local car yard and there is the latest Rolls Royce. Yes, they are both cars but one is a lot better built, more comfortable and will last longer.
The same applies to orthotics. You can get the over-the-counter variety which may be all you need. However you may need semi-custom or fully customised orthotics, which are available through the clinic. Due to improvements with technology we are now able to take 3D images of both feet which are used for our custom orthotics.
It is highly dependent on your feet and the symptoms you are experiencing as to the type of orthotics that would be recommended for your individual requirements. This will be thoroughly discussed with you during the consultation with the Podiatrist.